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Obama 5, Ronald Reagan 3, John 3, Sam 3, Vo 3, America 3, Us 3, Donald Trump 2, Mrs. Clinton 2, Rick Ungar 2, John Boehner 2, New York 2, Joel Berg 2, Mr. Berg 1, George Bailey 1, O.j. Simpson 1, Michelle Obama 1, Joe Berg 1, Michael Jackson 1, Mitt Romney 1,
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  Current    Viewpoint    News/Business.   
   (2013) New. (CC) (Stereo)  

    May 16, 2013
    5:00 - 6:00pm PDT  

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>> john: tonight on "viewpoint," john boehner demands an arrest in the i.r.s. scandal despite the fact that zero laws were broken. tea party hates them, welfare queens. but after this week with the i.r.s. scrutiny, d.o.j., a.p. scandal and the never ending exploitation of benghazi, this week has been like christmas for the tea party. later, we'll be joined by the world's greatest authority on christmas and the tea party leader in the show who may not like the presidency. s birthday of liberace and janet jackson. this is also my dream wedding band combo. on this date in 1929, the first ever academy awards were handed
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out in hollywood but it doesn't count as the oscars because weinstein wasn't around yet to buy off the entire academy. >> john: i'm john fuglesang. this is "viewpoint." thank you so much for joining us this evening. call it tea party christmas. call it the scandalous week ever. call the apocalypse. this week was definitely one the president and his administration would like to soon forget but that won't be the case for republicans and their base who would like nothing more than to keep this week very fresh in your memories and their campaign coffers all the way through 2014. it began with new congressional hearings on the benghazi attacks and an abc news report that seemed to suggest more of a cover-up than had previously been uncovered. before that could be debunked which it subsequently has
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inspector general report revealed the i.r.s. has been targeting the tax-exempt status of tea party and conservative-leaning groups, forcing president obama to confront both charges head-on. >> obama: who executes some sort of cover-up or effort to tamp things down for three days? the fact that this keeps on getting churned out frankly has a lot to do with political motivations. if you've got the i.r.s. operating in anything less than a neutral and nonpartisan way then that is outrageous. it is contrary to our traditions. and people have to be held accountable and it's got to be fixed. >> john: because we a all know the i.r.s. has always operated in a nonpartisan way. however, just when it seemed the president had begun to put the scandals back in the bag it emerginged that the department of justice had secretly obtained phone records from "the associated press." while perfectly and abhorrently legal, it forced attorney
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general eric holder to confront the charges in a news conference of his own. >> this was a very serious -- very serious leak. very, very serious leak. it put the american people at risk. and trying to determine who was responsible for that, i think required very aggressive action. >> john: so as the dust begins to settle on this scandalous few days we have a benghazi scandal that wasn't a scandal an i.r.s. scandal that the administration almost certainly knew nothing about, a d.o.j. scandal that almost certainly wasn't illegal but a real scandal and a great week for republican fund-raising. to discuss we are pleased to be joined by contributor to forbes.com, the great rick ungar and the host of ring of fire and the majority report, the great sam seder. thank you for joining us. >> good to be here. >> john: sam when we look back on this week, do you think it will be seen as a bad blip on the eight-year obama radar or is this a defining week for his second term? >> i think it's actually going
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to have some staying hour but even before addressing that, i think there is more to this a.p. story than i think we're giving credit. it is not clear that what the justice department did was actually legal. they have their own internal guidelines statutory guidelines as to when they are to get a secret subpoena as opposed to informing the media outlet. they're seeking one and giving the media outlet a time to negotiate. with that being said, yeah, look, the republican party i've said this in the context of many other issues, they have created a frankenstein and it is running through the streets. they're going to run with benghazi. they're going to run with the i.r.s. because that feeds nicely into their narrative. i think they're actually going to get tripped up on what i would perceive is the real scandal because the president this week pushed harry reid to push the shield that which would protect media outlets in this way, provide some statutory
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protection for them which republicans are against. so i think the irony is going to be they're going to push the nonscandals significantly more than at least what i perceive to be the real scandal. >> john: because that only hurt reporters and they don't like reporters to begin with. >> it is also part of the national security apparatus. whistle-blowers. this a.p. story would not be so big if it weren't forever the fact that the obama administration had created a narrative and they have created a record of going after whistle-blowers with an unprecedented zeal. in contrary to what the president had said before he was president. >> john: i would say in the world created by former attorneys general ashcroft and gonzalez, it is arguably legal. we'll see how much the tea party cares. rick, what do you think of the three scandals or kerfuffles? will we see our republican friends make the most hay from? >> right now they're all going to get all three of them in the barrel. i agree with what sam said. we don't yet know that the behavior of the justice
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department was legal. the only thing we really know at this point is that the subpoena was clearly overbroad as compared to anything we've seen before. that doesn't make it illegal. it makes it odd. it remains to be seen. we have to wait and see. the i.r.s., you know, you may have seen i wrote a piece about this today. calling for people to be jailed. we still don't know if there was a crime. we have absolutely no indications. so, you know, they're just pushing this for all that it's worth. benghazi is turning against them. it is turning against them. it is going the wrong way. you watch, in the next seven days, darrell issa and his band of merry people will start moving off of that story toward whichever of the other is getting the most traction. >> john: let's talk benghazi for a second. i agree with you the scandals are great theatre except unlike theatre in new york, this theatre actually creates jobs. this benghazi scandal may be mrs. clinton's scandal, if it is
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to be a scandal. it is a tragedy our fellow countrymen are turning into a tragedy. sam, do you think that if it turns out there is no one to blame, that there was no dishonesty by the part of the justice department, the c.i.a. does not bend to the will, do you think that it matters at all for the g.o.p. when they really care about having something to hit the president with, inspiring the base to get out the vote in 2014 and raising lot of money all summer. >> well, i think they're going to take the benghazi scandal as far as they can take it. the i.r.s. one is a lot easier in my mind for them to continue to hammer because one the president has sort of -- now this may not stick on the president in the same way but look, they could just demonize the i.r.s. what they've been doing. he's capitulated in a way i think frankly was a mistake. >> john: why? >> first off i'm not even convinced that what the i.r.s. did was terribly inappropriate. i mean, you're talking about they imposed added scrutiny on a myriad of groups, not just tea
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partiers. they used it -- perhaps it was a poor choice. it was politically insensitive. it wasn't politically correct but the fact of the matter is the i.r.s. was faced with having to deal with certain things. the tea party was promoting candidates. it would be incompetence on their part. if they were not scrut nicing those things. we clearly need a change with the system as it is in terms of 501(c)(4)s. >> john: exactly. >> but to come out and be so overwrought about this, i think the president is giving it more legs than it deserves. >> john: rick, do you agree? >> the one thing i would point out, even if benghazi loses its steam in the reality right don't think for a second that they're not going to be able to continue to raise money off of benghazi for years to come. >> john: of course. that's the whole point. this is a perfect representation of what the g.o.p. strategy will be for the remainder of obama's second term. throughout as many scandals as possible to prevent any meaningful legislation from having a chance of being passed.
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i think it is going to work, sam. >> i gotta say, i was saying this on my program at the beginning of the week and i've seen other people write it, if this prevents a grand bargain from happening if the president needs to turn toward his liberal base to protect him from these types of attacks and therefore he cannot afford -- he didn't have the good will to expend on getting something like the chain cpi, i'm for it. gridlock from a perspective of someone who wants to see progressive outcomes is, i guess, sort of the best we can hope for. >> john: it is a great point. many have talked about this during bill clinton's second term when he was talking about entitlement reform which is very nice way of saying have no more cat food, grandma. the fact that he was so mired in the lewinsky scandal during his second term made it impossible for him to do anything to make any kind of cuts in medicare. now we've seen this president essentially put medicare on the
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table. that can't happen now. >> you know what troubles me? unfortunately, you hear me say this too often. the president's communication group is so incredibly awful that we have to fear for what's going to happen in the next six months as they try to reinvigorate a reasonable discussion on healthcare. come october this all happens and i know for a fact that the white house is looking into how are we going to resell healthcare? not like they ever sold it in the first place. >> john: are you tired of seeing your party always playing defense? >> i don't see it as a problem with the party. i see it as a problem of a really poorly operating communications office in the white house. it ran badly in the first term. i'm seeing no signs whatsoever that they've improved in the second. they've handled this all really badly. >> john: sam, we know the g.o.p. is about collecting scouts as well. that may happen very soon. do you think they're going to get any? will the white house give anybody up?
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>> yesterday they got the head of the i.r.s. who was not head of the i.r.s. at the time that the scandal happened. >> john: exactly. head of the i.r.s. the real one. >> appoint by george bush. >> so look, this is what the politics for republicans are now. it is not dictate by policy. it is not dictate by any real grounding other than these cultural identify --fiedfiers and one of them is fighting barack obama on everything even if they agree with it. that's what they're going to keep doing. >> john: rick, do you think this is going to lead to any major scalps? do you see carney ors holder being casualties? >> not jay carney. i think it is interesting. i would not be at all surprised if eric holder was getting close to his expiration date anyway. he said he wouldn't stay through the entire second term. now it will make it hard because
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even if he wants to leave, for him to capitulate, i don't think he's so anxious to do that. >> the other problem of course, is that in this environment what attorney general is going to get confirmed by a republican -- by the republican senate? so, you know -- >> the irony of that, the guy who was really running this investigation was the number two guy and he would be the acting attorney general. >> yes, but you know, we also have to remember that you have to see this in light of the -- of what the department of justice has done since president obama has become president and this -- you know, there was an edict that you go after whistle-blowers with an incredible zeal. you know. and we're told that they needed to investigate this leak for something that they were planning to leak themselves the next day. >> john: so short-term gain for the g.o.p. is 2014 and the long-term gain is nationwide corporate deputylism. the medium range is hillary clinton in 2016.
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how does this impact her and her potential candidacy? >> i would even take hum brage with your midterm because the republican party there is the national leadership and then there's really what the republican party is now. which is basically just an aggregate of republicans who are running in very red districts and they're in the house. and so their interest is keeping their house seats. so they're just going to keep running in a direction that may hurt their national chances and that's why i don't think it is going to affect hillary clinton at all. >> john: killing immigration reform -- the fact that this may kill immigration reform guarantees that mrs. clinton is in a good place for 2016. >> if she wants to run there is nothing in her way. >> john: what's this administration's best strategy to putting this week and that's three incidents scandals, controversies behind them? >> you have to be much more aggressive than they have been. much more aggressive. and we're going to see you
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know, how everything ends up playing out in the long-term with the e-mails that have now been released. we'll see. it will be a question of how they communicate. if we're scoring them so far they're getting whipped. if they get up to bat this can change easily. these are not hard "scandals" to do battle with. we've seen much worse and we've seen presidents come out of them way better. certainly ronald reagan comes to mind with iran-contra. he didn't get impeached. they've got to get their game plan together and stop being so stupid. >> john: ronald reagan with iran-contra, much worse. watergate was not up against a bloodthirsty democratic party. >> this is not that hard to manage. they just haven't done it correctly. >> i think they have to go on the offensive. prom october the shield act puts the question in front of the republicans. do you want to actually provide this protection. to the media and i would go in terms of the i.r.s., i would go and start promoting the disclose act.
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501(c)(4)s basically obsolete which saying you have to disclose who's giving you money. >> john: how do we do that? >> it is extremely easy if you push the disclose act and say put your money where your mouth is let's pass the disclose act. i don't think it can. but i think what it can do is it can throw water on the scandal. the strategy of the white house should be to push legislation and basically calls their bluff on these things. it may be something they didn't necessarily want in the first place, the white house. but it is something that, you know, i think will corner the republicans. >> john: million dollar question to the middle class of america, rick, is there any chance of any legislation passing this congress in the next three years besides naming buildings after ronald reagan? >> i still think immigration is going to pass. >> john: you do? >> yeah. i think the republicans have
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this tainted notion it is going to help their national prospects. they're completely wrong but they seem to believe that this is the only way they're going to get it done. i think they will pass immigration. >> john: sam any theories? >> i think immigration has a pretty good shot because again the dynamics have not changed. this week, they lost their -- their hispanic outreach director in florida. the republicans -- that's a pretty bad sign. he's doing this with some knowledge at least that immigration is still in play. reform is still in play. i think that the metrics have not changed for the republican party. they need to do this. >> john: i think that story was buried. that man is about to become the most famous latino democrat. rick ungar and host of majority report and ring of fire, sam seder. the two smartest guys in class. thank you. >> john: okay. remember the sequester? you know that thing that caused all of the plane to be delayed?
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apparently it is causing real problems. not for congress but for you know who. you know who is coming on to me now? you know the kind of guys that do reverse mortgage commercials? those types are coming on to me all the time now. (vo) she gets the comedians laughing and the thinkers thinking. >>ok, so there's wiggle room in the ten commandments, that's what you're saying. you would rather deal with ahmadinejad than me. >>absolutely. >> and so would mitt romney. (vo) she's joy behar. >>and the best part is that current will let me say anything. what the hell were they thinking?
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alright, in 15 minutes we're going to do the young turks. i think the number one thing that viewers like about the young turks is that we're honest. they know that i'm not bs'ing them with some hidden agenda, actually supporting one party or the other. when the democrats are wrong, they know that i'm going to be the first one to call them out. they can
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question whether i'm right, but i think that the audience gets that this guy, to the best of his ability, is trying to look out for us. (vo) current tv gets the converstion started weekdays 9am eastern. >> i'm a slutty bob hope. >> you are. >> the troops love me. the sweatshirt is nice and all but i could use a golden lasso. (vo) only on current tv. >> john: so after months of republicans and right-wing media claiming that the president's warnings about sequestration were overblown hype and just fear tactics the spending cuts only hit home with many in congress when it meant they might have to wait a few minutes longer in the first class lounge while awaiting their flights home from d.c. in his press conference, president obama took a moment to say, in essence "i told you so." >> obama: the notion was that we had exaggerated the effects of the sequester. the president's crying wolf.
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he's chicken little. the sequester no problem. what we now know is that what i warned earlier what jay stood up here and warned repeatedly, is happening. it slowed our growth. it's resulting in people being thrown out of work. and it is hurting folks all across the country. >> john: however, there were a few whoa have been vocal from the start about the seriousness of the sequester cuts. one of whom was recently featured in a segment on the daily show. >> mr. frowny pants, joe berg of the new york coalition against hunger. >> the whole reason the sequestration hasn't gotten more media coverage is because it's affecting poor people most. >> so nobody has been affected. >> the shame on the nation. >> john: recently, i had the chance to sit down with mr. berg to talk about the effect of the sequester cuts and what they're doing to low-income families. i'm please to the welcome back joel berg, the executive director of the new york
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coalition against hunger and author of "all you can eat how hungry is america." joel, welcome back to "viewpoint." >> thanks for having me. >> john: thank you again for your continuing service on this issue. you have been out in front of the crowd on this all along and you've seen it coming. back in march when you were on the show, you told us how cuts were being planned for headstart, meals programs and the women infants and children food nutrition service. i'm pleased to see the media begin to cover this a bit more. are you surprised at how the media hasn't picked up the ball and run with it, how devastating the cuts will be? >> no. unfortunately, the media often ignores low-income people except for some higher paid people if they're cleaning their pools or mowing their lawn. not to be too nasty about it. with the exception of some shows like this, low-income americans are written out of the national their tave entirely. >> john: do you think that's because low-income americans don't vote or do you think it is because they have no influence?
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>> they really don't have the influence. part of it honestly is the media is so segmented now. 40 years ago, more latinos would have been watching mainstream, if i may say anglo tv, more african-americans may have been watching that. now that there's bet and the media is so segmented. if you monitor univision and say cbs for even a month you wouldn't even know you're in the same country. >> john: you mention on the daily show that tens of millions of people have been affected by these cuts. what groups are being hit the hardest? >> low-income people are the ones really being pounded by the sequestration. all this proves is washington can only agree on two things. shorting low-income people and taking care of themselves. >> john: we had when we say low income people, what are he we talking about? >> $17,000 for a family of three. many people would say making more than that still keeps you low income. tens of millions of americans
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who rely on the fema emergency food and shelter program that's a mouthful. but that's the main source of federal funding for soup kitchens food pantries, food banks, cash, as well as homelessness prevention programs. that's been cut by 5% on top of years of cuts. that program is now funded 60% less than it was in 2009 even though the need is higher. those are the kinds of people being impacted. head start children, people who rely on title one funding for schools, people who rely on federal housing help. it is people who are most vulnerable in our society who are easier to stomp down. mostly i think because they don't have campaign contributions. but they don't have the money. >> john: it is incredible to think these cuts are cheered on by the same people who say they want a government basedded on christian values. how badly has your group been hurt by the cuts and were any cuts more devastating?
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>> we had a vistas -- republicans should love it. it is a program that says you don't get a penny unless you work your tail off to get college aid and a small stipend. our entire new york city based vista americorps program was ended due to the sequestration. we have other projects around the country but entire components of our program was ended entirely. the wic money has been put back a little but still not nearly enough. i point out to my conservative pro-life friends, the wic program has prevented half a million children from dying at birth. so if you're really pro-life, you should be really pro--wic. there is funding for food banks has been decreased. funding for head start has been decreased. occasionally the sky does fall and occasionally chicken little was right. that's the case now. >> john: we mentioned the only way congress has rallied so far is to prevent flight delays. how does this conflict end? could congress come up with a deal on spending that doesn't
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rely on harming the most vulnerable of americans? >> i doubt congress will do it on its own. the president has to show some leadership. >> john: what could he do? >> first, he could admit that his idea was the sequestration in the first place and he said it would never happen. he has to admit he underestimated just how unreasonable the other side could be and he could use his veto pen. he seems to have forgotten the constitution does give the president of the united states some power. he makes it sound like he's just an innocent bystander. boy, i disagree with this faa fix. they said oh, i'm going to sign it. we need leadership from the president and we need to hold the american leaders accountable. we need, as the show is doing to point out program by program how people are being hurt by this. and how the wealthy are being let off the hook. donald trump, i'm sure he's a fine man. i've never met him. when he rides a private jet and gets help from a government air-traffic controller and i
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ride a jet and there are 200 people in it, donald trump is getting 200 times the amount of help than you or i might be. we have to redefine the debate to understand how the wealthiest gets far more help. >> john: corporate welfare hurts us a lot more than welfare for poor people. repeal the sequester 80% of the bush tax cuts were made permanent. author of "all you can eat," joel berg. thank you again for your time and your tireless work in getting out the word about this real and manufactured american crisis. pleasure to have you back. >> thank you. >> john: we wrap up our week of wtf alabama with nullification. i thought we settled that like 150 years ago. >> jack, how old are you? >> nine. >> this is what 27 tons of marijuana looks like. (vo) with award winning documentaries that take you inside the headlines, way inside.
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(vo) from the underworld, to the world of privilege. >> everyone in michael jackson's life was out to use him. (vo) no one brings you more documentaries that are real, gripping, current.
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fuffles plaguing the obama administration all week, it has been like christmas for the tea party. in the springtime holiday spirit, we want to wish happy holidays to the tea party and not just because they've been taught to despise that phrase. joining me now to hand out the presents is the great man himself, santa claus. hey, santa say hi to the kids. >> hi, john. hi kids. >> john: cringle, you seem a little down. >> does this suit make me look fat? >> john: no, it looks like you ignored michelle obama's fitness advice. >> i still look better than limbaugh. >> john: you brought a lot of presents for the tea party this week. >> mostly gift certificates after the sequester, i had to lay off some of the elves. >> john: our first tea party christmas present is the
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smattering of credibility the i.r.s. investigation into the tax status of tea party groups has given the tea party. that's a really nice gift of you, santa. >> it is really a gift from the white house. >> john: for the tea party that credibility is the equivalent of the red ryder 200 shot rifle that ralphy got in "a christmas story." >> hey, they can easily buy that at any gun show with no background check. >> john: who can't? what else, santa? our next christmas present, this one's not quite as cool. this is the scandalous d.o.j. surveillance of the a.p. it is a nice gift for the obama herit but the tea party doesn't care about journalists so this is basically the socks and underwear version of a tea party christmas present. >> it might be a real scandal but the republicans can't raise any money off so it is a white elephant gift. >> john: i know what the next one is. this is a special one. the tea party loves it. this is the gift of benghazi, the gift that keeps on giving.
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let's see. oh, wait a second. santa, this isn't benghazi. these are just those e-mails that jake tapper uncovered that show the white house messages in their original accurate form. this is a crappy obama scandal tea party present. >> yeah but they still get to exploit four american deaths for cheap political gain so that's all they ask for. >> john: i like how you think santa. the tea party is going to love this next one. this is the suffering the american people are going to have to experience because of the obsessive focus on these scandals over the next three years will prevent any effective legislation from happening in america. no jobs bill no immigration reform, no gun safety reform. the g.o.p. congress won't have to do any work. >> well, that's what john boehner asked for in his chardonnay. >> john: yep it is right. it is a bunch of holiday dvds in a box that is specially re-edited for the tea party. it features a new a christmas carol with tiny tim dying and a
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dvd of it's a wonderful life where george bailey jumps off the bridge to his death and pottersville becomes incorporated with no government regulation. >> wait, so the tea party likes it when heroes die in the end of christmas movies? >> john: not always. this has the version of frosty the snowman where frosty lives forever and never melts because global warming is a myth made up by the scientific community. >> i have to get going. my zz top tribute band has a gig tonight. >> john: this is for you santa. thank you for coming by. merry christmas to all in the tea party and to all, a good teabagging. >> joy: tonight, o.j. simpson is back in court looking 50 pounds heavier. remember when it was the good ole days when it was just the gloves that didn't fit? plus i'll speak with twisted
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sister frontman dee snider and one of my all-time favorite comedians is here, the one and only colin quinn. all of that and more tonight. >> joy: last time i saw